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The Gay Goshawk

No: 96; variant: 96[H]

  1. Lord William was walkin i the garden green, Viewin the roses red, An there he spyed his bonnie spier-hawk, Was fleein aboon his head.
  2. ‘O could ye speak, my bonnie spier-hawk, As ye hae wings to flee, Then ye wad carry a luve-letter Atween my love an me.’
  3. ‘But how can I your true-love ken? Or how can I her know? Or how can I your true-love ken, The face I never saw?’
  4. ‘Ye may esily my love ken Amang them ye never saw; The red that’s on o my love’s cheek Is like bluid drapt on the snaw.’
  5. ‘O what will be my meat, master? An what’ll be my fee? An what will be the love-tokens That ye will send wi me?’
  6. ‘Ye may tell my love I’ll send her a kiss, A kiss, aye, will I three; If ever she come [to] fair Scotland, My wedded wife she’s be.
  7. ‘Ye may tell my love I’ll send her a kiss, A kiss, aye, will I twae; An ever she come to fair Scotland, I the red gold she sall gae.’
  8. The hawk flew high, an she flew leugh, An south aneath the sun, Untill it cam, etc.
  9. ‘Sit still, sit still, my six sisters, An sew your silken seam, Till I gae to my bower-window An hear yon Scottish bird sing.’
  10. Than she flew high, an she flew leugh, An’ far aboon the wa; She drapit to that ladie’s side, An loot the letter fa.
  11. ‘What news, what news, my bonnie burd? An what word carry ye? An what are a’ the love-tokens My love has sent to me?’
  12. ‘O ye may send your love a kiss, For he has sent ye three; Ye hae the heart within his buik, What mair can he send thee?’
  13. ‘O I will send my love a kiss, A kiss, I, will I three; If I can win to fair Scotland, His wedded wife I’ll be.
  14. ‘O I will send my love a kiss, An the caim out o my hair; He has the hart that’s in my buik, What can I send him mair?
  15. ‘An gae yer ways, my bonnie burd, An tell my love frae me, If [I] be na there gin Martinmas, Gin Yool I there will be.’
  16. ‘Twas up an spak her ill step-minnie, An ill deed may she die! ‘Yer daughter Janet’s taen her bed, An she’ll do nought but die.’
  17. ‘An askin, an askin, dear father, An askin I crave o thee; If I should die just at this time, In Scotland burry me.’
  18. ‘There’s room eneugh in wide England To burry thee an me; But sould ye die, my dear daughter, I Scotland I’ll burry thee.’
  19. She’s warnd the wrights in lilly Londeen, She’s warnd them ane an a’, To mak a kist wi three windows, The cauler air to blaw.
  20. ‘O will ye gae, my six sisters, An sew to me a sheet, The tae half o the silk sae fine, The tother o cambric white.’
  21. Then they hae askit the surgeon at, etc.
  22. Then said her cruel step-minnie, Take ye the boilin lead An some o ‘t drap on her bosom; We’ll see gif she be dead.
  23. Then boilin lead than they hae taen An drappit on her breast; ‘Alas! alas!’ than her father he cried, ‘For she’s dead without the priest!’
  24. She neither chatterd in her teeth Nor shivert wi her chin; ‘Alas! alas!’ her father cried, ‘For there nae life within!’
  25. ‘It’s nine lang days, an nine lang nights, She’s wantit meat for me; But for nine days, nine langer nights, Her face ye salna see.’
  26. He’s taen the coffin wi his fit, Gar it in flinders flie, etc.
  27. ‘Fetch me,’ she said, ae cake o yer bread An a wi drap o your wine, For luve o you an for your sake I’ve fastit lang nights nine.’
  28. ‘Twas up then spak an eldrin knight, A grey-haird knight was he; ‘Now ye hae left yer auld father, For you he’s like to die.
  29. ‘An ye hae left yer sax sisters Lamentin a’ for you; I wiss that this, my dear ladie, Ye near may hae to rue.’
  30. ‘Commend me to my auld father, If eer ye come him niest; But nought say to my ill step-minnie, Gard burn me on the breist.
  31. ‘Commend me to my six sisters, If ye gang bak again; But nought say to my ill step-minnie, Gard burn me on the chin.
  32. ‘Commend me to my brethren bald, An ever ye them see; If ever they come to fair Scotland They’s fare nae war than me.
  33. ‘For I cam na to fair Scotland To lie amang the dead, But I cam down to fair Scotland To wear goud on my head.
  34. ‘Nor did I come to fair Scotland To rot amang the clay, But I cam to fair Scotland To wear goud ilka day.’